Jim Beam has jumped into the ready-to-drink canned cocktail scene with highballs to go. Their angle? To solve for “beer boredom” and provide alternatives for all-day “sessionable” summertime sipping. These to-go varieties are inspired by the classic highballs made with “chilled Jim Beam bourbon, ice, and ice-cold, highly carbonated soda water or ginger ale.” Seems straightforward enough and we respect them for their marketing frankness. So let’s cut to the chase.
Jim Beam Classic Highball – The Classic version fits more in the category of a spiked seltzer and is indeed very bubbly. Beam has also added a hint of citrus, as if the orange garnish fell into your drink. The bourbon is subtle (the way it sits in the drink could have been any spirit, such as rum) but is nicely rounded out by the citrus. This is very well balanced and refreshing due to the purposeful kick in carbonation and easily something that one will keep reaching for it while enjoying a long stretch of sunshine and the company of friends. 5% abv. A / $10 for 4-pack of 355mL cans
Jim Beam Ginger Highball – There are highball recipes on Jim Beam’s website and this canned ginger highball tastes true to that recipe. The distiller’s recipe calls for 1 part Jim Beam to 3 parts ginger ale. Here, the ginger ale comes across as of the widely available variety, where the sweetness outshines the ginger. When poured over ice with a lemon wedge as instructed, it struck me as exactly what I was in the mood for. 5% abv. A / $10 for 4-pack of 355mL cans
These highballs are not revolutionary; instead they nail their raison d’être by being an incredibly convenient and refreshing alternative to beer. They could and should be a staple in any cooler alongside other summertime favorites, and I’m looking forward to having them on hand.